Wednesday, September 24, 2008

School ties and the system

Tim Dowling: How to be a school tie rebel without getting it in the neck ... | Education | The Guardian: "Pupils at the Arthur Terry school in Sutton Coldfield have had their school ties banned and replaced with clip-on models. The ban is an attempt to stamp out the sort of personalised styling that results in either a morale-sapping loose and/or asymmetric knot, or the downright insubordinate shortened tie with extra-fat fastening. The school's headteacher claims that discipline and even attendance have improved since the clip-ons were issued."

I wonder if at any point they thought that just doing away with a stupid, pointless symbol would be better than trying to rectify the 'issues' which came from something meaningless they'd imposed in the first place? It's a tie. Just a tie. A flippy, floppy bit of fabric. I love the claim that discipline and attendance have improved because of clip-ons. Show me the research. Show me the actual research that proves a causal relationship rather than a simple correlation which could be explained by any number of factors.

You remove every other bit of a child's identity by shoving them into a uniform... and then claim that you're educating the 'individual' when you work your hardest to stamp out any element of personalization. Another thing to enter my list of things that drive me mad about the education system in this country.


  1. LOL! Thanks for posting this ... I actually have tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks (not least because of the "six stripes" tie length rule for kids where I work)!

  2. I agree. The school systems seem to be so intimidated by any show of individuality in a child. It's no wonder kids have such a hard time these days.

  3. @Gemma - when I was at school kids wore their ties backwards and picked out the thin white stripe which ran through it! Picking out the stripe would thwart the clip-on mafia!

    @sherylb07 - absolutely. No idea why... but it's utterly nonsensical. We give kids something pointless to kick against like wearing a tie... and then are surprised when they kick against it. Why don't we trust children a little more and back off a little more? It would make life so much simpler if we didn't have pointless policies about the wearing or non-wearing of ties. What does that sort of thing really matter?


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